Most helpful critical review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The good, the bad, and everything else
on June 17, 2013
We received this as a first birthday gift for one of our children. I had been looking at play kitchens for them, so I was really excited that someone got them this. I can't comment on its long-term durability yet, but I have made several observations based on how they've played with it so far.
-They have fun with it! It's good for pretending to cook like Mommy (or Daddy) does.
-The table adjusts to two different heights. Even though the lower height is very low (the taller height is standing height for our one-year-old), it would be good if you have several little kids using this. The taller height is perfect for my one-year-old and three-year-old to play together.
-The oven light and buzzer are super cute, as are the sounds the burners make.
-It converts to a flat tabletop if you want to use it as something other than a kitchen.
-It's not terribly stable. There is a hole in the center to put accessories, but when we had two toddler boys using it, all they wanted to do was stick their heads in the hole, which lifted the legs off the ground when they leaned on the tabletop. I know this is going to get knocked over on someone at some point.
-Almost all of the accessories available for this are junk food! The set comes with pizza and cookies, and you can buy ice cream, birthday cake, a BBQ set, a baby feeding set, and a tea set. Where are the fruits and vegetables? The selection of cookware is also pretty pitiful. It comes with one pan and a large spoon, so I guess if we want actual cooking utensils, we will have to buy them from another set.
-Like others have said, the serving tray doesn't work. Right out of the box and after trying two sets of batteries, I couldn't get it to make a sound or recognize any of the food we put on it. I have contacted FP customer service, but it's a disappointment nonetheless.
-I wish the serving tray were attached to the table somehow. Instead, there's a plastic disc that covers the hole in the middle (which doesn't store anywhere in the unit when you're using the serving tray instead). The serving tray comes out very easily, and again, when toddler boys are using it, it gets removed and swung around.
-It's missing some of the traditional elements of play kitchens. There is only an oven, a cooktop, and a serving tray. It doesn't have a sink, cupboards, etc. You can see this in the pictures and descriptions, but it's worth pointing out. If given the choice between this and something else, I would have preferred to have a kitchen that looks more like our real kitchen.
-When used as a table, it has a lot of seams in it (where the cooktop is flipped over, the two seams from putting the tabletop together, and around the cover in the center). I don't think we'll be able to use this for activities like coloring because of that, and eating at this table would be a really bad idea because of the potential for things to spill into the cooktop or down the center of the table. In other words, don't buy this for its potential as a table. You also can't get chairs to go with it.
-The oven door doesn't close easily. My three-year-old gets very frustrated trying to get it to snap closed.
If you are looking for a very basic kitchen unit that can double as a table in some instances, or if you have children who don't play rough, then this is a good choice. If you are looking for a more realistic kitchen, though, keep looking. I would happily give up the sounds (the ones that work, that is...) for a basic kitchen that has more of the amenities of a real one. My kids are enjoying it, though, and it is for them, not me, so whatever. :)
Update: I contacted Fisher-Price customer service and asked if I could get a replacement serving tray because the one that came with our set is defective. They were very nice and responded within a day; however, they won't replace just the tray. They want me to mail them the inner and outer column (which would mean I'd have to disassemble the entire unit) so that they can send me a whole new unit. First of all, I'm not taking that thing apart. And, I don't want to deal with my kids' reactions when I put their kitchen out of commission for however long it takes to get a replacement. Second, what am I supposed to do with the rest of the parts that I don't send in when I only send them the column and they send me a replacement of everything? I don't see why they can't replace only the tray. Clearly, based on other reviews, we're not the only ones having trouble with it. We are not going to bother sending anything back. We'll just live with the defective tray. If you are looking at this product, be aware that there is a good chance the tray will not work, and if it doesn't, not only are you going to have to live with it (unless you found it in a retail store that will exchange it for you, and you can hope the next one actually works), but if you've bought any accessory sets to go with it, you just overpaid by about double for what you get in those sets (given that they won't do what they're supposed to without a functioning tray). I am very disappointed in Fisher-Price for this item and their recommended "solution".
Update 9/9/13: I was right that this would get knocked over on someone eventually. My three-year-old can tip it completely upside down on its top, and my small one-year-old can tip it enough to get two legs from the base completely off the ground. Also, while at first I thought it was a great idea that the serving tray comes out to reveal a storage area, now that I've seen the tray flung around all over our house, I wish it were attached to the unit. It's a good thing it never worked for us in the first place, or it certainly wouldn't work by now. If you are considering this kitchen for kids who are tall/strong or play rough, you should probably keep looking for a sturdier unit.